Guest review by Darwyn Carson - Good news all! Acorn Media Group, the first company to provide live streaming of the best in classic and contemporary British television, recently expanded the service, which launched in July of 2011 with a roster of six series and 40 hours of programming online at any given time. Now viewers have complete episodes of 10 series and 60 hours of programming accessible. There’s so much material—a lot of it never seen before in the States. Two new shows are rotated in weekly (as the oldest shows are rotated out) and remain in the schedule for five weeks, allowing ample time to watch your favorites or never-seens. First episodes are gratis, so if you’re a BBC America or PBS Masterpiece buff, or simply have a passion for excellent drama, check it out at acornonline.com/TV.
I did just that and found a gem: Above Suspicion, a crime drama from La Plante Productions. Lynda La Plante, known for creating strong detective heroines (Prime Suspect, The Commander) has produced another absorbing crime solving series with baffling cases and mercurial characters. Ciarán Hinds and Kelly Reilly lead the terrific ensemble.
Based on bestselling La Plante novels, the show premiered in England in ‘09. An instant hit, Above Suspicion 2: The Red Dahlia and Above Suspicion: Deadly Intent followed soon after, airing in 2010 and ‘11.
Signing up for Acorn Premium will give subscribers access to the complete series and the best of British fare for a nominal yearly fee. Here’s more good news: Britain’s ITV has commissioned a fourth year of the popular drama. As far as I know, it will be available stateside only through Acorn. I’m looking forward to it and streaming the first three seasons will bring me up to speed for the release of number four: Above Suspicion: Silent Scream.
For those of you who either don’t want or like to stream, never fear: you can own Above Suspicion or any other Acorn title. Most titles are available on DVD.